The relationship between attitudinal ambivalence and desire to quit smoking among college smokers


Journal Article

Growing evidence shows that attitudes can exist on a bivariate rather than a bipolar plane. This conceptualization provides a more dynamic approach to studying how attitudinal ambivalence (i.e., evaluating an attitude object as both positive and negative) affects smoking-related behaviors. Based on a sample of 157 college smokers, we obtained preliminary validational support for a smoking-specific felt attitudinal ambivalence scale. Felt attitudinal ambivalence correlated positively with potential for ambivalence, negative attitudes, and negative as well as positive outcome expectancies related to smoking. Smokers who felt more ambivalent reported a greater desire to quit and were more likely to be contemplators, as defined by the transtheoretical model of behavioral change. In multivariate analyses, felt ambivalence toward smoking predicted desire to quit after controlling for positive and negative attitudes and negative smoking consequences. These results provide promising support for the smoking-specific felt-ambivalence scale, and suggest that attitudinal ambivalence should be investigated further as a motivational mechanism to affect smoking cessation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lipkus, IM; Feaganes, JR; Green, JD; Sedikides, C

Published Date

  • January 1, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 113 - 133

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9029

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2001.tb02485.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus